An Act of Love


Rafael 2 Fri, Oct 9, 2015 5:45 PM
Throckmorton Theatre Mon, Oct 12, 2015 2:45 PM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:86 min
Premiere Status:World
Director:Scott Sheppard
Producer:Kate S. Logan
Scott Sheppard
Screenwriter:Scott Sheppard
Cinematographer:Scott Beer
Ross Hockrow
Editor:Scott Sheppard
Miranda Yousef
Note Writer:Peter L. Stein


The recent US Supreme Court decision upholding same-sex marriage rights may have settled the matter in the public realm, but in the bitterly contentious arena of American churches, the issue is far from over. This gripping documentary plays out like a courtroom drama as it charts the years-long struggle of Frank Schaefer, a Pennsylvania minister in the United Methodist Church, who was defrocked after officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding. Schaefer’s case, told here with raw candor by participants on all sides of the issue, moves from a small-town squabble over a controversial local pastor into an agonizing, church-wide referendum pitting traditionalists against reformers. Throughout his trialsboth literal and spiritualSchaefer’s clear-eyed sense of spiritual duty remains unshaken, even as his career prospects and faith in his church are severely tested. The film chronicles both his family’s personal struggle and the drama of a mainstream church facing sea changes in American moral attitudes.

Co-presented by Frameline and LGBT Community Center

Additional Information

Scott Sheppard was raised the son of a United Methodist minister in rural Michigan. He comes from a long line of Methodist ministers and missionaries, and he chronicled much of that family history in his debut documentary, Planes, Trains & Autorickshaws. As an editor, he worked on director Antoine Fuqua’s Showtime documentary about infamous gangster rap mogul, Suge Knight. He has also edited short documentaries, commercials, and short films for organizations such as the American Heart Association, Harvard University, Canon, TEDx, GOOD, Open Society Foundations, Sheryl Sandberg, and Elvis Presley Enterprises. He currently resides in Los Angeles.